BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — People from different religious and non-religious backgrounds came together to support the Blacksburg Jewish Community Center.
This comes after someone defaced the center’s sign earlier this March.
The goal for the March 23 event was to stand in solidarity. Members from 10 different churches and guest speakers came together to support the Jewish Community Center after its sign was vandalized earlier this month.
“As people of faith, we are gathered here in this place to express our support and to stand in unity with our Jewish brothers and sisters,” said Mike Lee, Associate Pastor of Blacksburg Baptist Church.
The service also discussed the Dialogue on Race, which combats racism.
“Such unrest around respect across race, culture, and religion has brought us together,” said Martha Ann Stallings, Dialogue on Race.
President of the center Eric Hallerman, says this incident is outrageous and unacceptable.
“We are all one people. God loves us all, and he wants us to get along together, yet everyone has understood that simple message,” said Hallerman.
Hallerman talked about the growing anti-semitic attacks reported in the news across the nation.
“The highest numbers ever reported were reported yesterday, 3,600 Anti-Semitics events last year. That’s 10 per day,” said Hallerman.
Multiple other religious organizations condemned the incident while speaking of love and unity in Blacksburg.
“The Jewish community was very active in the civil rights movement and stood side by side while working with the NAACP and other organizations to advocate for rights,” said Debbie Travis, NAACP, and Asbury United Methodist Church.
During the service, there was also a lot of discussion on Martin Luther King Jr.’s message that focuses on coming together as one.
“We are the result of generations of networks that came together with people who weren’t just like us,” said Monica Weber, Pastor, Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, Blacksburg.
Everyone who spoke Thursday night had one common message: this event does not define the community, it brought everyone closer.
WFXR reached out to Blacksburg police for an update on the investigation but haven’t heard back yet.